Are American part time workers too lazy to compete with foreigners?

This article talks about the influx of foreigners working in US hotels and resorts. The hotels claim that US workers don’t want the jobs ($7-$8/hour) but I wonder if that’s the whole truth. After all even if foreigners get the same hourly wage, they are still cheaper than SU workers:

The foreign students typically earn the same hourly wage as their U.S. colleagues – around $7 or $8 an hour for most of the jobs. Employers don’t provide health insurance – nor Medicare or Social Security – for J-1 workers, which saves some money. They must adhere to minimum-wage and workplace safety laws and pay unemployment.

So they probably wouldn’t offer health insurance to Americans either but they would pay social security. Still a few percent of $8 an hour isn’t about to put a resort out of business.

Perhaps the real reason is that Americans are less likely to care about the job:

Many American job applicants, she said, dress unprofessionally, yawn through interviews or quit after a day or two of work.

The foreign students have a better attitude, McCauley said. “They work very, very hard,” she said. “And they are respectful.”

I can see where a US college student might not be too worried about getting fired from a $7/hour job so why would they work hard?

Filed Under: Travel & tourism jobs

About the Author

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. David says:

    Exploitation. Americans will work-and hard-for a fair wage. When foreign workers are imported to do jobs cheap, it prevents the market from forcing employers to pay what a job is worth. They abuse the market by paying sub standard wages to desperate people and burden the rest of us with welfare payments to make up for what they do NOT pay their workers!

  2. RJ says:

    There seems to be an element of an apology and argument for foreign, read illegal, workers. I don’t doubt employers encounter work ethic deprived American youth. An increase in the hourly rate would solve the domestic quality problem and allow employers to draw from a more committed pool of American citizens. When an autoworker makes $14 an hour, a $10 to 12$ an hour hotel employee wouldn’t be hard to find. It’s called supply and demand and businesses should be no more immune to it than the workers they employ.

  3. James Trotta says:

    Not sure wha you mean by foreign workers being illegal RJ – the article talks baout how easy it is to bring people to the US legally for these temporary jobs. I guess they might overstay their visas to become illegal and the article says there may not be enough oversight…

    I definitely agree David – the $7/hour job with no benfits wouldn’t be worth much to many Americans.

  4. Debbie says:

    I work in the Hotel business. I see American workers come and go, most dont want to work this hard. From the front desk to the housekeeping, most Americans dont have work pride. They show up late, not properly dressed and unprepared to do the work. Yes some Hotels dont pay very well, others do, if you do the job. Most of the problems I see are in the whole work force. Younger workers think they are too good to work hard, most havent been taught to show up anywhere on time nor to follow through with a project. I am a redblooded American who taught my childen to work, wish more folks would. Where do we go from here? We grip when some one else gets the job?

  5. e.w.s says:

    hey why dont the hotels and all labour wanted markets hire older people we grew up working hard and although we may be retired we a always wanting to do some part time work if the privileged youth wont do it we the older brigade will how is it that the job market is so ” youth oriented “anyway ???

  6. Bud Glass says:

    Americans may be stereotyped as bad workers, but most are good workers. If these employers were truthful about why they prefer foreign workers, it is not bad work ethics, it is that many American workers will insist on health insurance, family leave, sick leave, vacation pay, breaks, longer lunch hours, overtime and pay raises, regular schedules, weekends off, no night shifts and other benefits. Most foreign workers aren’t interested in many of these. Foreign workers usually don’t know the Federal and State labor laws, so employers can take advantage of them. Foreign workers don’t know their rights. American workers know their rights and insist on their rights as employees.

  7. Nikki G says:

    I too work in the hotel business, and I agree, the americans seem to have no work ethics. the foreign workers who are hired, first of all are grateful for the opportunity to be able to have a “working vacation” to be able to experience different cultures – they usually have their paperwork arranged and paid for, they get housing and in some cases, fed, to make up for the hourly wages. They generally have travel insurance arranged in their country of residence before they arrive, so no need for employers to give health insurance. The housing the foreign workers live in usually consisting of “dorm room” accommodation which the American workforce will no way live in.

  8. Carla says:

    Most American workers are lazay and do think that they are too good to start of in a $7 to $8 dollar an hour job. You have to realize that everyone has to begin somewhere. Usually your work ethics tend to improve as you get older, mature, and realize that you need to keep your job if you have to support yourself and have no one to rely on. Another point to consider is that, in this country full of opportunities, some Americans do goof of a lot and let go the opportunity for a higher education. In comparison to other countries, we have great opportunities to better ourselves but we let all go to waiste. After the years go by, we can’t expect not to pay the price for our wrong choices. How can we complain and blame the illegal workers, when we Americans have allowed that to happen. Our children of today need to be taught good work ethics (no matter the job). Pride needs to be involve in any job that you do. Also, they need to have higher goals for themselves so when they apply for a job they know that have earn the right to complain and get what they want and/or need within the work entity.

  9. John Hunter says:

    I got laid off from a job I had been at for 32 years in the oil business. I had to take a job that paid $9.00 an hour, I was 54, and beleive me I tried to get something else. I ended up in a production type operation, and all the guys working with me were Mexican imigrents, half my age, and I was always the number one producer, so don’t tell me how hard these people work, most of them were screw-offs. Sleeping on the job, taking long lunch and break times, fighting with each other, hard workers my ass!

  10. ruben says:

    foreing workers also have families to provide for, we too need health insurance for our families, its not only the americans that have families, WE make it work with wattever is available for us.     CAN YOU?

  11. floyd smith says:

    What David and Bud Glass fail to understand, is

    that even if the hotels paid an american worker

    $14.00 an hour. After about a month on the job,

    they would demand these things from their boss:

    1.$20.00 an hour-one week-end off a month-two weeks paid vacation-and must have longer lunch

    hours. And maybe they’ll come back in about six

    months with more demands. All this knowing full-

    well, they come to work late about four times a week, the quality of their work is way below

    sub-standard, and maybe its all because they feel

    like they are special. “They are Americans.”

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.